Government Transparency

  • Shedding light on South Carolina's murky corporate-welfare system

    South Carolina might be conservative, but is it a free-market state? It's an open question after the S.C. Legislature this year used $1.3 billion in public funds to recruit a single company, Scout Motors, to Richland County.
  • Transparency check-in: streaming at the Statehouse (2023)

    With the 2023 regular legislative session concluded, now is a great time to follow up on transparency efforts made by the General Assembly to livestream their committee meetings, an initiative we began last summer.
  • Cleaning up Columbia: How to fix South Carolina's broken campaign finance and ethics system

    Read the print digital version HERE. By Dallas Woodhouse and Bryce Fiedler When it comes to campaign donations, government ethics and pay-to-play politics, South Carolina has a shockingly corrupt and unaccountable system. Citizens can’t find out who is giving political money and why. Donations of all kinds are secret. Campaign...
  • Seven steps to make S.C. government more transparent

    “Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show it can bear discussion and publicity.”- Lord Acton   THE TIME FOR TRANSPARENCY IS NOW
  • Transparency check-in: streaming at the Statehouse (2022)

    To encourage more transparency in state government, SCPC has been examining how frequently legislative committee meetings are livestreamed to the public. These committees have the important job of reviewing and approving bills before they reach the House and Senate floor, and committee members will often propose changes in the process....
  • Analysis: School board transparency is great, but lawmakers should lead by example

    The Senate last week unanimously passed a bill pushing South Carolina’s school boards to livestream their meetings. Despite some issues in its execution, this is a much-needed policy – one that is central to the Policy Council’s goal of empowering citizens through transparency in government. At the same time, however, the...
  • Check-in: Budget transparency hits a new low

    Transparency for taxpayers hit a new low this week. On Wednesday and Thursday, the S.C. Senate held a total of nine budget subcommittee hearings – the most it has held in one week since session began. Not one was streamed to the public.   According to meeting agendas, 36 state agencies presented their...
  • Half of House budget meetings not streamed in first week (now updated weekly)

    Budget meetings sorted by week As part of our push for more government transparency, we have been tracking the streaming of legislative budget meetings each week. Below is list of how many budget meetings were held compared with how many were streamed, sorted by week. For a more thorough explanation...
  • Delegations have a transparency problem: let’s fix it

    Legislative delegations in South Carolina have a serious transparency problem. As it turns out, an alarming number of counties are missing basic information about legislative delegations on their websites. In fact, some counties don’t mention them at all. Citizens can’t hold their elected officials accountable if they don’t know what’s happening, and when it’s...
  • Delegations in SC rank among most powerful in nation

    South Carolina’s county legislative delegations, comprised of the lawmakers representing each of the state’s 46 counties, are among the most powerful in the nation. In fact, most states don’t even recognize such delegations, and where they do, many have weak, if any, power.